Wall Street: Friday Morning

cityfile · 04/17/09 05:54AM

• Citigroup posted its first profit in 18 months today, which made Wall Street very happy and sent Citi shares up to a whopping $4. [WSJ, DB]
• GE's first-quarter profit fell less than expected, dropping 35% compared to a year earlier, results that gave shares a boost in early trading. [BN, WSJ]
• AIG chief Ed Liddy still owns a big stake in Goldman Sachs, info that will be most pleasing to Goldman conspiracy theorists out there. [NYT, NYT]
• Is the banking business showing signs of recovery? [NYT]
Carl Icahn and Kirk Kerkorian are locked in battle over MGM Mirage. [WSJ]
• General Growth Properties's bankruptcy will make hedge funder Bill Ackman a very rich man. And he already happens to be a very rich man. [NYT]
• The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco now says it was a mistake to allow Lehman Brothers to collapse. Now you tell us? [BN]

Wall Street: Thursday Morning

cityfile · 04/16/09 05:48AM

• JPMorgan Chase reported a $2.1 billion profit in the first quarter, exceeding estimates. Unlike Goldman, though, Jamie Dimon says the bank hasn't decided whether to return the $25 billion it's received in bailout money. [DB, WSJ, BN]
• General Growth Properties, the second-largest mall operator, filed Chapter 11 today, making it one of the largest real estate failures in history. [AP, WSJ]
• AIG is close to a deal to sell its auto insurance business for $2 billion. [FT]
• Investors remain concerned about the situation at GE and whether the company will be forced to go out and raise additional capital. [WSJ]
• Foreclosure filings jumped 24 percent in the first quarter. [CNN]
• Blackstone boss Steve Schwarzman says he's really worried about the "decline of capitalism." But he's got $25 billion sitting on the sidelines, and he's ready to pounce at any second assuming the world isn't ending. [Fortune]

Tesla CEO Says GE's an Investor, but GE Says No

Owen Thomas · 03/30/09 05:33PM

Musk, apparently eager to give the magazine an exclusive and reassure buyers who must put down a sizeable $40,000 deposit for a car that they won't see until 2011 at the earliest, said that GE Capital was an investor:

The Battle over Bonuses Rages On

cityfile · 03/20/09 05:54AM

• Yesterday the House approved a 90% tax on bonuses paid to execs at certain firms that received government aid. Now some lawmakers are talking about banning all bonus payments at bailed-out firms. [Reuters]
• It's unclear if the 90% tax will hold up in court. It's also possible it will do more harm than good and ultimately "wreck what's left of our economy." [BI]
Andrew Cuomo says AIG has provided him with a list of employees who earned bonuses, but he won't release the names until the security situation has been sorted out, which is good news since it's getting a little rough out there what with all the death threats and protests. [AP, NYT, Reuters]
• Just who knew about the AIG bonuses—and when they knew it—is being closely scrutinized, although Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says he is prepared to accept full responsibility. [NYT, CNN]

Madoff Faces the Music, Stanford Takes the Fifth

cityfile · 03/12/09 05:57AM

Bernie Madoff will appear in court this morning to plead guilty to 11 counts. Then it wil be up to the judge to decide if he gets locked up immediately or is allowed him to remain free on bail pending sentencing. [DB]
• Meanwhile, the investigation into Madoff's Ponzi scheme is now focusing on the accounting firms that may have helped him carry out the scheme. [NYT]
• Base salaries on Wall Street may double as bonuses drop. [BN]
Andrew Cuomo says Merrill Lynch misled Congress over the timing of its plans to award billions of dollars in bonuses last December. [NYT, WSJ]
• BofA is putting a private bank it inherited from Merrill up for sale. [Reuters]
• Texas billionaire Allen Stanford took the Fifth yesterday. [AP]
Carl Icahn has abandoned his bid to take over Lionsgate. [BN]
• GE has lost its triple-A credit rating from Standard and Poor's. [DB]
• Foreclosure filings in the U.S. jumped 30% in February. [BN]

Michael Bloomberg, Crummy Stock Picker

cityfile · 03/05/09 09:39AM

Hope you didn't make the big mistake of taking Michael Bloomberg's investment advice yesterday! The mayor singled out three companies, telling reporters that General Electric, Macy's and Saks were all "irreplaceable brands" and were undervalued in the current market. But with the exception of GE, which is about where it started, both Macy's and Saks are down big today. Guess a career as an investment advisor probably isn't in the cards if his re-election campaign doesn't pan out this November.

More Merrill Subpoenas, GE Under Pressure

cityfile · 03/05/09 06:30AM

Andrew Cuomo has issued subpoenas to several of the Merrill Lynch employees who made it on to the highest-paid list for 2008. [WSJ, DB]
• Merrill is now suing Deutsche Bank for "raiding" several top bankers. [BN]
• More Merrill news: Two ex-CEOs say they were victims of Madoff. [Reuters]
• GE seems to be in some serious trouble thanks to losses at GE Capital; shares of the company are at their lowest point since '91. [WSJ, BN, DB]
• UBS execs on Capitol Hill said the bank has no plans to give up the names of clients behind the 52,000 accounts connected to illegal tax shelters. [NYT]
• The good news: The number of new jobless claims dropped last week. The not-so-good news: Worker productivity is down. [NYT, BN]

Wall Street: Tuesday Morning Headlines

cityfile · 03/03/09 06:10AM

• Stocks appear positioned to rise this morning after tumbling to their worst levels in more than a decade during yesterday's trading session. [CNN, MW]
• More on what the government is trying to do with the billions it's been pumping into AIG. Meanwhile, the insurance giant's founder, Hank Greenberg, has filed suit against his former company and accused it of fraud. [NYT, NYP]
• Citigroup is still hoping to shed a handful of "non-core" assets, including its mortgage and insurance operations, Japanese brokerage, and private-label credit card business. [NYP]

The Creepy Corporate Cult Behind Last Night's 30 Rock

Owen Thomas · 01/23/09 01:12PM

Who's the newest Six Sigma expert? Tina Fey. The cultish quality process observed by her employer, NBC Universal, is a predictable source of profitable laughs for her show, 30 Rock and all too real.

No Bailout for Detroit Yet, New Lows All Around

cityfile · 11/20/08 06:26AM

♦ The effort by U.S. automakers to secure a bailout hit a major roadblock after execs from the Big Three were sent home by Congress empty-handed. The behind-the-scenes negotiations continue. [WSJ, Bloomberg]
♦ Shares of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America are at multi-year lows as the Dow hovers at a six-year low of its own. [DB, DB]
♦ GMAC, controlled by Steve Feinberg's Cerberus Capital, says it's applied to become a bank holding company so it will be eligible for bailout cash. [DB]
♦ GE has turned to China and Singapore as it looks to raise cash. [Bloomberg]
♦ Harbinger's Phil Falcone is pulling back on his media investments. He's reduced his exposure to the New York Times and Media General, just months after fighting for board representation. [WSJ]
♦ Deutsche Bank plans to cut 900 more jobs. [NYP]
♦ Weekly jobless claims have reached a 16-year high. [MW]

Consumer Prices Fall, Citi Makes Cuts, Paulson Parties

cityfile · 11/19/08 06:18AM

♦ The U.S. consumer price index fell 1.0 percent in October compared to the previous month, the biggest drop in 61 years. [WSJ]
♦ Citigroup is liquidating another one of its hedge funds after it plunged 53 percent last month. Also: Citi's stock dropped to its lowest level in 13 years yesterday. [FT, NYP]
♦ Just because he spends his days taking aim at Wall Streeters doesn't mean Andrew Cuomo left any bigwig financiers off the guest list for his birthday party/fundraiser on Dec. 2. [NYP]
♦ The CEOs of GM, Ford and Chrysler who pleaded poverty in front of Congress yesterday flew their private jets to get there. [ABC News]
♦ Most hedge funds are pulling back right now, but hedge fund king John Paulson actually celebrated on Monday night with a lavish dinner for more than 100 at the Metropolitan Club. [DB]

Cuomo Leans on Citi, Yang Plans to Step Down

cityfile · 11/18/08 06:30AM

♦ Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says Citigroup should follow Goldman's lead and forgo bonuses for senior execs. [NYP]
♦ Embattled Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang has announced he will step down as soon as the board finds a replacement. [NYT, WSJ]
♦ Mark Cuban's attorney on the insider trading charges leveled against his client: "The case has no merit, and is a product of gross abuse of prosecutorial discretion." [WSJ]
♦ Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is unlikely to use the rest of the $700 billion bailout fund on any new initiatives, preferring to hand over the remaining pennies—and very big problems—to his successor in the Obama administration. [WSJ]
Andrew Ross Sorkin on extending the bailout to GM: "Taxpayers shouldn't fork over a cent, at least until shareholders are wiped out, management is tossed out and the industry is completely reorganized." [NYT]

WSJ Doesn't Mention Own Company's Market-Crashing Error

Hamilton Nolan · 10/30/08 09:01AM

Everybody in the media fucks up once in a while. Sometimes the fallout is bad. Remember when Bloomberg accidentally ran Steve Jobs' obituary while he was still alive? Then shortly afterward they mistakenly ran an old headline about United's bankruptcy as if it was current, and temporarily destroyed the company's stock price? Both are very bad errors, but at least Bloomberg apologized for them. Which is more than you can say for Dow Jones, which handily fails to mention its own mistake that crushed GE's stock price yesterday: With 15 minutes left in the trading day yesterday, Dow Jones ran a mistaken report that (almost singlehandedly) erased the day's gains in the DJ Industrial Average:

Street Talk: Citi Walks

cityfile · 10/10/08 05:15AM

♦ Citigroup dropped efforts to block a deal between Wachovia and Wells Fargo yesterday afternoon; it will, however, continue to press ahead with its $60 billion lawsuit. [NYT, WSJ]
♦ Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack is back on the defensive today after the bank's shares dropped nearly 26 percent yesterday to $12.45, the lowest closing price in a decade. [DB, WSJ]
♦ Barclays, which acquired the assets of Lehman Brothers last month, now plans to cut another 3,000 jobs. [Fortune]

Warren Continues His Spending Spree

cityfile · 10/01/08 11:02AM

Warren Buffet, the richest man in the world and the only person we can think of off the top of our heads who lives in Omaha, is investing $3 billion in beleaguered GE. [Dealbook]

Street Talk: Bailout Talks Continue

cityfile · 09/26/08 05:30AM

♦ All eyes are on Washington, of course, as lawmakers reconvene to try and hammer out a bailout. [Politico, NYT]
♦ J.P. Morgan Chase has agreed to pay $1.9 billion to the government for WaMu's banking operations and will take over the company's portfolio of loans. WaMu depositors will still have access to their cash; holders of WaMu equity and debt won't be as lucky. [WSJ, DB]

Street Talk: Bailout Jitters

cityfile · 09/23/08 05:30AM

♦ The markets were down sharply yesterday as investors worried about the government's $700 billion bailout and lawmakers squabbled over the specifics. More will be revealed today when Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and SEC chair Christopher Cox discuss the plan in more detail in front of the Senate. [NYT, WSJ, WSJ, Marketwatch]
♦ The SEC's new short-selling rules have been generating plenty of questions and complaints the past few days. Now the SEC plans to revise a number of the rules. [Dealbook, WSJ, NYP]
♦ Nomura is close to acquiring the European operations of Lehman Brothers, a day after the Japanese bank snagged Lehman's Asian operations for $225 million. [WSJ]
♦ The Times' Sorkin: "Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.'s $700 billion proposal to bail out Wall Street is both the biggest rescue and the most amazing power grab in the history of the American economy. [NYT]

GE dumps "intrusive" Google Docs for Zoho

Paul Boutin · 09/22/08 04:20PM

An anonymous GE spokesperson told Silicon Valley WebGuild that the corporate megalith has punted on Google's browser-based office applications in favor of Zoho tools. For Zoho, it's a big step up from popular-with-geeks status and closer to large-scale enterprise vendor credibility. What killed Google? The money quote:

Street Talk: Morgan Finds an Investor

cityfile · 09/22/08 05:30AM

♦ Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have won approval to become bank holding companies, which will give them greater access to federal funds and also put them under tighter oversight and regulation. [WSJ, NYP]
♦ After suspending talks with Wachovia over the weekend, Morgan Stanley announced this morning that it is selling a 10-20 percent stake to Japan's largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ. [WSJ, Bloomberg]
♦ The proposed $700 billion bailout package turned into a political football this weekend. [WSJ, NYT]
♦ Nomura will pay $225 million for Lehman's Asian operations. [WSJ]
♦ After last week's wild ride, everyone is bracing for another eventful week on Wall Street. [NYT]

Presenting the Googlephone

Nicholas Carlson · 08/22/08 12:40PM

Forget HTC's Android-running Dream, expected out this October. General Electric has brought the Googlephone to life. GE's Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications, or DECT, version 6.0, has a handy built-in Goog-411 button, to spare users the burden of dialing 1-800-GOOG-411. It's already on store shelves for $60.